Ruto receives Nadco report promises to act on reforms

President William Ruto and DP Rigathi Gachagua receive the Nadco report from the Co-Chairs Kalonzo Musyoka and Kimani Ichung'wah at State House Nairobi. [PCS]

President William Ruto and Azimio leader Raila Odinga on Friday separately received the report of the National Dialogue Committee (Nadco) that is poised to change Kenya's political landscape.

Dr Ruto lauded the team for the report already adopted by the National Assembly and the Senate, saying it would address serious constitutional concerns.

"I had no doubt in my mind, having travelled this journey as a politician, that this was assignment that was doable," he told the dialogue team at State House.

"We have credentials, as a country, that we are believers in democracy and that we can always use democratic means to resolve whatever issues that may arise," added the Head of State.

Earlier, Raila received the report at his Capitol Hill office in Nairobi from Wiper Leader Kalonzo Musyoka and National Assembly Majority Leader Kimani Ichung'wah, accompanied by other members of the committee.

Raila, who insisted the report should be implemented without alterations, described it as important in securing reforms across critical sectors, terming it the product of the aspirations of Kenyans.

"As was the case with the process, this document has enemies from reactionary forces across the political divide, inside and outside Parliament," said Raila.

"Our position is that the report, including the various legislative proposals attendant to it, should be implemented without any alterations," the former prime minister added, urging those seeking amendments to reflect on the circumstances that led to the dialogue.

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua, one of the detractors, said the process would guarantee a peaceful environment for Kenya Kwanza to implement its agenda.

"I must admit that I was a bit skeptical from the beginning of whether this process would see the light of day. I have since been impressed by what has happened...Kenya is bigger than all of us," said Gachagua.

The report proposes reforms such as the introduction of a Leader of Opposition position and the ratification of the Office of the Prime Cabinet Secretary. It also seems to anchor affirmative action funds to the law as well as crafting a framework on the implementation of the two-thirds gender principle.

Raila said the report should be fast-tracked in Parliament, adding that he would engage Ruto to address the matters the committee referred to them.

However Azimio and Kenya Kwanza could not agree on some issues, the most critical one being the cost of living, with Raila saying that the opposition would press Ruto on the subject.

He said the report would ensure electoral reforms and a chance for lasting peace, "that could put this country in a path of prolonged stability in years ahead."

On his part, Kalonzo reflected on the engagements the committee had in coming up with with the document. 

"We had moments of serious engagements and disagreements and we never hid anything," he said. "The work that lies ahead is equally difficult."

Ichung'wah said that Nadco had addressed 90 per cent of the issues presented to it and urged  Kenyans to rally behind the team. 

"There is no task that is beyond a people in a country when they speak to each other and dialogue," he said.

Ruto would also assure Raila of his support for the African Union Commission chairperson role, insisting that the East African Community would back the former premier's bid.

"He has the stature and wherewithal to handle the affairs of that office," he said of Raila.

The report was a product of protests following the 2022 General Election as the opposition coalition under Raila confronted State agents protesting what they termed as rigged elections.

It took the intervention of former Nigerian President, Olusegun Obasanjo to bring Raila and Ruto to the negotiation table as parts of the country became ungovernable.

A pact between the two was hammered leading to the cessation of protests in March last year and appointment of a bipartisan team which birthed the report that was handed over yesterday by Ichung'wah and Kalonzo.

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